Has emotional abuse made you feel like this, too?

25 Oct 2013

 “Things got so different with my emotionally abusive husband, that I could barely hang in.  I certainly didn’t feel “worthy” of any recovery program…”  Sylvie said.  Have you ever felt like this, too?  It’s a common – even normal – response to the repeated trauma of an emotionally abusive relationship. 

The normal response to challenges, bad behaviors,  and endless attacks, is to find a way to end the situation.  An emotionally abusive relationship is NOT a normal situation, which means that:

a)      The “normal” rules do not apply

b)      The “normal” responses  don’t  seem to work.

The dynamic of an emotionally abusive relationship is, of course, very simple.  The emotionally abusive partner has all the rights, including the right to be as negative, rejecting, and destructive as he chooses.  You have no rights, and no voice.

So, what do emotionally abused women end up doing?  Heaven knows, I spent years doing this, too.

We end up curling up into some kind of small foetal, psychological ball, and waiting to feel better. 

We curl up in a small, defensive ball inside ourselves to try and protect ourselves from the pain.

Sadly, that’s never going to work.

What we, actually, do – although we have NO idea that we do this – is we curl up, defensively around the pain.  All the pain that we feel is contained within that small foetal, defensive posture.

And we wait to feel better.

But there’s something that we’re missing. 

Our emotionally abusive partner is not to be fobbed off so easily. 

It was his abusive outburst that drove you into that small foetal ball in the first place.  Having let off that head of steam and abuse, for a while, he feels relatively okay.  The outburst was cathartic for him.  But…

An emotionally abusive partner is not the person to learn anything – new – from his mistakes, and behaviors.  The one thing he has learned – which works really well for him – is this: “having an emotionally abusive outburst works really well for me.  So, I’ll just keep on doing it.”

He may, or may not, until you cautiously start to uncurl yourself before he launches a new assault.  That depends on just how incontinent of anger and frustration he is –and exactly how much he feels confident he can get away with, with you.

But he is guaranteed to launch another attack.

What this means is that you cannot afford to wait until you feel “worthy” to do something about breaking out of this hellish cycle. 

Feeling worthy is not possible when you are struggling in an emotionally abusive relationship.

So, you, like Sylvie have to do something quite counter-intuitive.  You have to understand that your safety, and your well-being, lie in thinking outside the foetal ball, and the conditioned response.  Sure, it is a very primitive response to danger.  But it’s not a response that works to your advantage in an emotionally abusive relationship.

NOTHING will ever work to your advantage in an emotionally abusive relationship.

The only thing that is guaranteed to improve your life is to put your emotionally abusive  marriage behind you. 

Your safety and well-being lie not in lying doggo and hoping it will all blow over.  It may… But then, it will all blow BACK.

Your safety, and well-being, lie in giving your emotionally abusive partner – and yourself – the clear message that you are stepping out of his game.  Leaving him to do whatever he likes, but without you in his life.

And, most definitely, without him in yours.

There is no place for an emotionally abusive man in your life.  Or inside your own head. 

It’s time for you to stop thinking and reacting like an emotionally abused woman, and allow your gifts, your talents, and your inner worth to unfurl.  Like my lovely client Olivia who stood up to her abuser – which was incredibly hard for her.  She’s now working on building a healthy relationship with a good partner, who loves, cherishes and respects her.  She’s also becoming aware of how she can build a lucrative business – instead of working her socks off in a low-paid job.  The more she grows her self-worth, the more that translates into her financial and professional worth, also.

How much longer can you afford to stay stuck in that small foetal ball of despair?  Isn’t it time for you to


Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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